Minuartia rubella is a minute alpine herb with linear leaves and white flowers. This species occurs throughout arctic and alpine regions of the northern hemisphere. In Denali, Minuartia rubella occurs in open soil on slopes and gravel bars from the uplands high into the alpine zone, and is more common north of the Alaska Range crest than to the south. Plants have many branching hairy stems arising from a long taproot, growing 2-8 cm tall. Leaves are linear, opposite, distinctly 3-nerved, 3-6mm long, somewhat hairy, and persistent on the stem for numerous years. The inflorescence is an open cyme of 2-7 flowers. Flowering stems are 3-6 cm long and hairy to pubescent. Sepals are lanceolate, acute, 3-veined, slightly longer than flowers, and green to purple in color. Petals are white, oblanceolate, and 2.5-5 mm long. Flowers have 10 stamens and 3 styles. The fruit is a light brown colored dehiscentcapsule that is three-toothed upon opening. Brown seeds are numerous. The three-nerved leaves set this species apart from other members of the genus Minuartia in Denali.
Minuartia rubella is a semi-evergreen perennial that flowers mid-June to July.
Minuartia rubella is monoecious with bisexual flowers. Species of Minuartia are pollinated by a variety of insects, particularly flies. Some species are also self-pollinating, but M. rubella's pollination system has not been studied. Fruits are a capsule, splitting open to release the small seeds to be dispersed by gravity.
Minuartia rubella is a circumpolar species with an arctic-alpine distribution, ranging from Alaska east to Labrador and south into Maine, Vermont and the Western mountain states in North America. In Alaska, this species occurs in suitable habitat statewide. In Denali, M. rubella occurs widely in occasional localities scattered in the mountains on both sides of the Alaska Range crest.
M. rubella is found in the park at elevations from 329 m to 1670 m with an average site elevation of 1089 m. This species is more commonly found on south-facing steeper slopes. Slope angle for sites where this species is found ranged from 0 (flat) to 36 degrees with an average angle of 21 degrees.